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New Orleans Removes Confederate Monuments Despite Death Threats

By Mark Pygas

The New Orleans City Council has pushed ahead with plans to dismantle four prominent Confederate monuments throughout the city. In the early hours of Monday morning, workers removed the Liberty Place monument, a statue that commemorated members of White League, a white-supremacist group that attempted to topple the biracial post-Civil War local government in 1874. Federal troops eventually restored the elected government, but not before 16 police officers and 19 members of the White League were killed. 

The City Council originally voted to remove the statues in 2015, but have been fighting legal battles that have prevented the removal until now. They've also had to deal with dozens of death threats, which resulted in workers having to remove the first statue in the early hours of the morning, wearing military-style helmets and bullet-proof vests. They were watched over by dozens of police officers. 

Erected in 1891 when a sympathetic local government was elected, the statue was inscribed in 1932: 

"McEnery and Penny having been elected governor and lieutenant-governor by the white people, were duly installed by this overthrow of carpetbag government, ousting the usurpers, Governor Kellogg and Lieutenant-Governor Antoine. United States troops took over the state government and reinstated the usurpers but the national election of November 1876 recognized white supremacy in the South and gave us our state."